Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Need for Discernment

 Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; 

rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right. 

~Charles Spurgeon



Discernment...oh how this is a matter that weighs heavily upon me. I try so hard not to become disheartened of the fact that so many don't use the gift of discernment that God gives us. People will flock to any new song, movie, book or preacher that tickles their ears. Just because something is almost right...doesn't make it right. The gospel has to be the truth of Scripture...nothing more, nothing less or else it just isn't right.


“How shall a man judge what to do in such times?'
'As he ever has judged,' said Aragorn. 'Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear...It is a man's part to discern them, as much in th Golden Wood as in his own house.” 

~J.R.R. Tolkien

As Christians, we have a responsibility to use discernment in all matters...otherwise it is very easy to fall victim to a wolf in sheep's clothes. First, let's look at the definition of discernment:

Webster's Dictionary says it is a noun meaning:  
the ability to see and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently.

I found some of the synonyms to be telling, as well. They are wisdom, perceptiveness, and insight. So to have discernment is to have wisdom, perceptiveness and insight! How wonderful is that?


Before I go on, let me make it abundantly clear that I am so far from perfect and have so much growing in wisdom to do myself. I do not write out of a vicious (or "know it all") spirit but rather one of concern and sadness. Please understand that my heart cries out for others to be careful because I desire to see the church grow more holy and righteous and pleasing to Christ.

So, after saying that...I now feel I need to address the fact that so many people are falling prey to the likes of "your best life now" and "feel good" preaching. The truth is that we are to take up our cross daily! In the words of Christ: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?" (Luke 9:23-25).

There are new movies coming out (for example, the Noah movie with Russell Crowe in it, the Son of God movie, etc.) that are truly *not* biblical. People make up the argument that it can bring Christianity to people. I say it does more harm than good. I highly encourage you to read some reviews. Here's one on Noah by Ken Ham...and one on Son of God by Tim Challies.

The *only* way to truly convert souls to Christ is:
The working of the Holy Spirit in their hearts due to hearing the gospel shared with them (which is our job...not through movies etc.). They must feel a Godly sorrow of their sins and repent of them and believe in the Christ Who saves their souls. The Word leads people to Christ...not a movie or song. 


Please don't get me wrong...I don't think you are horrible or unintelligent if you go see these movies (although if you are a fan of Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn and the likes, I do want you to dig into God's Word to see that their preaching is not of God. Joel Osteen is about carnality. Watch THIS. Paul Washer says it just as it is. Know it is my concern for your soul that I share this with you. I pray all who need to see this ~ do, for out of love I want to admonish you to use discernment and realize life isn't about getting more stuff, being prettier, and having more friends. It's NOT about your best life now. It's about glorifying God in everything...in our joy, in our suffering).

I just ask that if you *do* go see the movies, read the books, listen to the songs....use wisdom. Measure them to Scripture. Don't just believe all your see/read/hear. If it isn't biblical...realize that and don't endorse it as if it were. This is discernment....to realize when something is of God or if it isn't.

Do you love Him? If you do, then you should feel frustration, sadness, and anger when things misrepresent Him. For example, the Noah movie with Russell Crowe is "based" on the Bible...but they used "artistic license" to make it...which in other words, means: they changed it to make lots of money. So the movie only tells half-truths...if it is less than 100% biblical, it's trash, in my opinion. I have never even watched The Passion of the Christ movie. Maybe one day I will...but as of now, His Word tells me all I need to know. I don't need it grand-ized on the big screen.

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
~ 2 Timothy 1-4


If you would, please watch THIS video with Piper, Washer and MacArthur. Listen to what they say. They are godly men who desire to show you truth. It is my sincere prayer that, if you are a fan of the Joel Osteens of the world, that you will watch this movie...understand your sin, repent and turn to true Godly preaching from the Word.

Even if you do have discernment and realize the error of these false teachers, I ask that you be in prayer for those who are in their clutches. If God has handed them over to heretical preaching, we must pray for mercy for them to escape this! If we love people, we have a responsibility to warn them and share the gospel with them. Listen to THIS by Todd Friel (from Wretched) as he holds Osteen to the Bible.



 "Salvation is of the Lord. We are to preach it faithfully."
~ Todd Friel

While there is air in our lungs, we are to love one another enough to share the truth. We only have any goodness because God gives it. His grace is what gives us every good and perfect thing. It is what upholds us now, as we live life on this earth when all we deserve is death. Life isn't about our best life now, or how to get a better house, car, job. It's not about our carnal needs...it's about living a life unto God...serving Him and loving others by sharing the gospel. 

Conversation is welcome in the comments section or feel free to email me (link on the sidebar). 
Thanks for letting me share my heart. 

In Christ, 
Katy



It's all about Jesus Christ being first....
and second and third and fourth and fifth. 
 What I'm saying is, don't put Jesus first. 
 Jesus is everything. 
 He's not just first in the rank, 
He is everything.
 ~Paul Washer

23 comments:

  1. Great post Katy, and thank you for sharing your heart!

    When I saw the tv ad for Noah, all I could think was, "God movies" are never true to the Bible, no I won't go see it. I did not know about Son of God until I saw it in a magazine a couple days ago. I have no plans to see that one either.

    I agree these movies do more harm than good. I don't think it's wise to include untruth with the truth. The Word of God is complete, it not supposed to be added to, or subtracted from.

    As for Joel Osteen, I have only heard of him.

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  2. Dear Katy, I can hear your heart! We are living in the last days, and people do want there ears tickled! But I also believe anyone really wanting to know the true Gospel will hear the truth because it is the Holy Spirit who will reach them through whatever vessel He chooses! But as you said we must be willing! And able to present the true Gospel... Amen
    Blessings, Roxy

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  3. Great post Katy! More proof we are indeed in the last days. As Jack Kelly always states "you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah." Come Lord Jesus.

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  4. Thank you for stopping by friends. :)

    I do need to say that the "last days" began 2,000 years ago after Christ died and was resurrected. We have been in the last days ever since! :)

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  5. I think people should use wisdom and judgment when watching Duck Dynasty

    .http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/31/showbiz/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson-comments/

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    1. Anon. ~

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, people need to be wise in things they watch in general....but most people do not go to get fed God's Word when watching Duck Dynasty. I don't agree with all the Robertson's beliefs...but I don't think they have a negative witness. Now, if people are going to watch DD for their theology and learning about Christ, then I would tell them to be very careful. The truth is that most people watch them for fun.

      Where I have difficulty is when people are trying to be fed the truth of God's Word and to hear preaching from heretical/unbiblical people. That is a real problem.
      If people want to watch that new Noah movie with Russell Crowe in it just for entertainment/fun...that's one thing. When people are going to watch it to see a true reenactment/biblical movie then they will not see one. My biggest concern is for unbelievers who watch this and don't really go to a bible to see the truth... as that movie is so inaccurate! :)

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    2. Amen Anon. I have watched numerous episodes and am amazed at the name calling, sexual talk and the participation in yoga.

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  6. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I enjoy your blog greatly:) I am not questioning what you are saying about the Russell Crowe movie. I am asking you how can you buy Duck Dynasty products when you do not believe in the Robertson's beliefs? Isn't that supporting them finacially? I believe it is. My biggest concern is the message it is sending to our daughters.

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    1. Hello Anon!

      I understand your point. And honestly, I do believe that the Robertsons are fellow Christians. I truly do. I do think it is better (if the Lord wills) for girls to marry younger. (Not 14, 15 or 16 necessarily...that is super young)...but I was 19 when I got married. I think that it is well and good for young ladies to marry Christian men early and start their families. :) But with some of the Robertsons other beliefs, to be honest, I dont' really watch their show. My husband enjoys it (on DVD, as we don't have television programming other than netflix). My husband has never said that anything on the show was against Christ nor did he find offense with things. If he did, we would ban it.

      Similarly, I still buy food or clothing products of people whose beliefs are probably different than mine. I do understand your point though!

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  7. I love your blog, & I can tell you are a caring and loving person. I'm just so confused right now. We are Methodist, Our Church is showing The Passion of Christ in the upcoming week. My husband works on Sundays (he's a Fireman) so on Sunday evenings we watch Joel Osteen. I thought we were doing a good thing, now I very confused if by watching that we are doing something wrong.

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    1. Hello Anon.

      Joel Osteen is not biblically sound. He is a feel-good preacher who tells people what they want to hear. As Christians, life isn't about living our "best life now". Its about glorifying God...even during our suffering. I really, really plead with you to stop watching him...I promise you, He is not of God. Did you watch the links I put into the post? They will help you see the difference between Godly and un-Godly preaching.

      If you want to watch truly God-honoring, biblically sound preaching I recommend: Alistair Begg, John Piper, Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, Pastor Tim Conway, John MacArthur, James White (from Alpha and Omega Ministries) and R.C. Sproul. You can find there sermons on sermonaudio.com and on youtube. Please get away from Osteen. He is so, so off and I truly desire for you to be fed God's Word correctly. Please see my post and your conviction now as God leading you away from heretical teaching. I truly care about you!

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    2. Thank you for responding to my comment. I'm going to talk this over with my Husband & let him watch the links you provided. We have struggled off an on with Our Faith, but last Sept we re-committed Ourselves back to the Church. Thank you again, I have learned a lot from your blog. I'm studying the Proverbs 31 Women right now. I'll let you know how Our Journey goes! Blessings to You & Your Family. Walk With The King!

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    3. I apologize for commenting again, but I've been waiting all morning for Our Pastor to call. I wanted to make sure I'm not going against Our Church or Faith by watching or going to see God is not Dead or by watching Joel Osteen. By Our Beliefs we are ok to watch & go see those movies. In fact groups from Our Church are going to see this up and coming movie this weekend! I will watch the people you suggested & continue to follow your blog. I want to learn as much as I can about God & Jesus. And I like getting other people's opinion on things. God Bless you Katy!!

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    4. Please, never apologize for commenting! You are always welcome here! :) I highly warn you that if your Pastor agrees with Joel Osteen, there is a problem. I am actually truly concerned for you if you are under leadership that finds Osteen to be a man of God.

      Also, I said in my post that watching the movies isn't necessarily the issue...it's the biblical (or lack there of) teaching in them that may not be appropriate.

      Please know, your committing yourselves back to the church is not salvation. Only belief in Jesus Christ as the true, living, Son of God and his death and resurrection on the cross can save us.....it is a supernatural work of God. If you are truly born again, you will begin to realize things are not right with Osteen, Benny Hinn and some of the hollywood "bible" movies out there. This is discernment. I will be praying for you and your husband!

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    5. Thank you for your honesty! I truly appreciate it. I a sure you my Husband & I are going to look into the Joel Osteen. I just read some very disturbing things on the internet & I'm very concerned what I have already let into my heart & my Husbands. I realize how foolish I might have been in listening & watching something that good be so harmful to my Faith. Thank you again!

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  8. I will second Katy's warning about Joel Osteen...please get as far away from him as you can, he is not a person anyone needs to be taking advice from on living your life as a Christian and committed to Jesus. There are other "feel good" preachers and "life coaches" who should also be right on there on the "do not let them into your home" list. I can say this honestly from personal experience as my family and I left a church 2 years ago who copied several of these preachers, their styles, their teachings etc. When my husband stood up to the church leadership, WE were blamed for not allowing the Holy Spirit to move and controlling it! All we did was stand up for the truth, seriously some of the things that were going on were scary. People crying hysterically, falling over, yelling at the top of their lungs. It was wrong of us to stay as long as we did, hoping they would realize they were going off on the wrong path and would change. They are sold out to this sort of teaching, prosperity gospel, name it and claim it, etc. We lost good friends over this, friends who are lost to this whole thing. Katy is completely and entirely right....please get away from the Joel Osteen's of this world and get into the Word of God and His truth and unfailing love. Amazing post Katy!

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  9. Our recent sermons have been based on 1 Timothy. The way our pastor does his sermons is to start at the beginning of a book such as 1 Timothy and he will teach/preach through it section by section until we have gone through the entire book. I know for many people use to topical sermons that is something different. Anyway, I share that to say that on Sunday we talked about some of this. 1 Tim 1:5-7 stuck out to me as I read your post. I wrote tons of notes on Sunday and some that stand out to me were that we need to know the truth to know deceit. The only way to know the truth of the doctrine is to spend time in the word. That if we listen to those that teach with counterfeit scriptures (those that sound like the real deal) that they are in fact departing from faith by compromising scripture. That even a little sway from the actual scripture will lead us astray. Many days my FB feed is filled up with people posting Joel Osteen feel good stuff. Everyone likes to feel good and I love a Sunday when I walk out of church full of sunshine, but I also feel that since we are all sinners and so far from living like Christ that if you aren't feeling convicted once in a while (or often as is the case for me :) ) then your pastor isn't doing you any favors. I still have so much to learn but I am digging deeper.

    I know that it isn't always easy to share your personal views and I thank you for putting it out there.

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  10. I AGREE WITH ANONYMOUS ABOUT DD AS FOR MOVIES THEY
    ALWAYS TAKE LIBERTYS I AM 72 YEARS OLD AND HAVE TWO
    GRANDAUGHTERS AND I WANT THEM FIND GOOD MEN
    AND I DONT BELIEVE DD GIVES THEM THE RESPECT
    GRANDMA

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  11. Thank you Katy for being willing to share this. As Christians we must know what we believe and why. We need to be Bereans

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  12. I agree with you, too many lose sight of this. So many talk about the need to compete in the culture war, but I remember the 60s and 70s, the those who pushed to make the faith "trendy", when the only thing that acheived was an erosion of the faith. The truth is, some who lost their way returned to the faith of their childhood, because they recognized how hollow the secular world left them. We need to focus on the gospel, and share it. Excellent, timely article, thank you!

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  13. Hi Katy,
    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your heart in this post. I truly found it an encouragement and it convicted my heart to make sure I measure everything against the scriptures.Blessings to you!
    Jamie :)

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  14. I am hesitant to call anyone who preaches Christ a heretic. I am convinced in my own spirit about who to listen to, and do not choose to listen to any televangelists. I will not call politicians I disagree with the Antichrist either, for the same reason. I did read a blog post once about the book called "Jesus Calling" and was convinced it certainly is heresy. Imagine my dismay when I went to work with my born again coworkers and they started talking about this "awesome book called Jesus Calling". Still, I believe the Lord protected me by having me come across the blog post only weeks earlier.

    I have never watched The Passion of the Christ either and never will as Mel Gibson is an anti-semite.

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  15. Hi Katy,
    Thank you for this excellent post.
    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy